Official: Barcelona complete deals for João Félix, João Cancelo

Barcelona have pulled off a sensational double Portuguese swoop on deadline day, landing Seleção stars João Cancelo and João Félix on loan deals.

Félix leaves Atletico Madrid having found himself frozen out under Diego Simeone, while Cancelo makes another move having fallen out of favour with Manchester City. Both players describe signing for Barca as a “dream move” after arriving together to sign for the Catalan giants.

Barcelona will not pay a loan fee for Joao Felix, who signed a new contract with Atletico in order to facilitate the move. The former Benfica man has also lowered his salary for the move, such was his desire to finalise things with Los Cules. Barca president Joan Laporta thanked both players for “financial effort to wear the shirt” in a statement.

“I have fulfilled one of my goals as a child,” Félix said. “I am very happy to be here and now I have to take advantage of the moment and give it my all. I hope it will be the best year of my life, with many victories, titles and achievements.”

Félix was left on the substitutes bench on Monday as Atletico won 7-0 at Rayo Vallecano in La Liga. Having been voted the club’s Player of the Year in 2021-22, Félix’s relationship with Diego Simeone deteriorated last season, culminating in a pricey loan move to Chelsea for the second half of the campaign.

Cancelo, meanwhile, continues his tour of Europe’s most illustrious clubs with his second big move of 2023. The right-back spent the second half of last season on loan with Bayern Munich in Germany, having been frustrated by lack of appearances under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Cancelo returns to Spain for a second stint in La Liga, where he represented Valencia for three seasons between 2014-2017.

“I am very excited to be here,” Cancelo said. “Many of my idols played here and it was one of my dreams. Barcelona are one of the dream clubs, I played for the other one: Benfica. I’m sure it will be a very nice season and I will do my best to help everything go well.”

Barcelona travel to Pamplona to play Osasuna in La Liga on Sunday evening.

By Sean Gillen